Anti-spam law does not apply to Western’s core activities

By Communications Staff
June 26, 2014

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Western’s core activities do not fall under the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), according to Stephen Jarrett, Western’s legal counsel. CASL takes effect July 1.

CASL targets any domestic or foreign person or organization sending commercial electronic messages in Canada. Messages are deemed in violation of the law without the prior consent of the recipient or unless they meet certain requirements. Consent must be obtained before the legislation take effect next week. Violators of the law may be required to pay a maximum penalty of $1 million per violation for an individual, and $10 million per violation for a business.

An outside legal opinion sought by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) bolsters the contention that universities do not fall under the purview of the new law.

“For the most part, members of the campus community can assume their electronic communications are related to Western’s core activities and they should continue to communicate with their audiences in the same manner that they have been doing prior to July 1,” Jarrett said. “Where there is a possibility activities in any particular area may go beyond what might be considered core activities, my office will be contacting the relevant units to discuss the appropriate steps to be taken with respect to electronic communications.”

While Western is largely not impacted by CASL, Jarrett said the new legislation provides an opportunity to ensure recipients of the university’s electronic communications can identify the faculty/unit/department sending the communications and unsubscribe, if desired, from future unsolicited communications.


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